It’s a valid question. Art should stand on its merits, regardless of sex. If only it was that easy. From birth, women are conditioned to fit in, support others, and create the kind of networks that benefit social structures, like family and local communities. Nothing wrong with any of that except that it tends to rule out the lonely, frustrating and demanding work of focusing on one’s own ideas and creating a piece of art, whether its a book, a song or art made with tools from outside the traditional tool box.
Walk through any museum or gallery today and count the women artists. It’s still a pathetically low percentage. I’m gladdened by the re-hang this summer by the Museum of Modern Art in NYC which will seek to give more wall space to women and people of colour. Growing up, I simply thought their absence on museum walls was because they weren’t very good. I realise now that’s nonsense. They are few and far between because men have been doing the choosing, for the most part, and men who had the space, energy, support and money to create their work.
Until men and women are truly equal in all aspects of life, I feel it’s important to provide a boost for those women artists who might not have the confidence to create and promote their art.
International Women’s Day is now over for another year and I’m sure next year will be as stimulating and enlivening as this one was. But I dream of a time when such a day will seem irrelevant. Unfortunately, we are far from that now. Looking forward to this crop of entries and to meeting this year’s winner.
Good luck to all!
For details of this year’s Rapoport Award for Women in Art and Technology, please click here.
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